FOREX: Nigerians Will Continue To Suffer, Pending Massive Refining – Kachikwu
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August 21, 2016 ( Post 1 )
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, blamed the continued fall in the value of the naira against other major currencies on the huge demand for foreign exchange (FOREX) necessitated by the importation of petroleum product into the country. According to the Minister, the sector accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of foreign exchange demand, adding that the failure of the nation’s refineries to work optimally has led to shortfall in the availability of FOREX in the open market.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the minister painted a gloomy picture of the industry stating that proactive steps are required to bring Nigeria’s economy back on positive track.
He said, “We need to get our refineries to work optimally, in order to inject funds back to the economy. It is taking us four to six months to go through processes and bureaucracy even to get investors coming into the country and inject money to take the refinery to the point where it is needed.
“And the reality is that unless we do that, the dream and hope I had was that in 2018 we should begin to reduce drastically petroleum product import into the country and in 2019, we should be able to exceed total local demand, and so, if we can take care of that alone, the pressure on foreign exchange will reduce. The foreign exchange conversion rate, the exchange rate will improve in favour of the Naira.
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